Small Town Hospitality in Swedeburg, Nebraska

This past Sunday I got a true taste of small town life in the country! What to do when someone invites you to a church picnic of a church you’ve never attended? Go, partake, and enjoy small town hospitality! It was a beautiful day. The smell of pulled pork tantalized the senses. And the music took me back to younger days gone by.

Blessing #602 ~ small town hospitality

Thank you Pastor Steve and  Swedeburg Covenant Church for allowing us to worship and celebrate 135 years with you!


Camping in the front yard…

Sounds like a good idea, right?

Ahhh…memories of my childhood…running around the backyard with friends until 3 in the morning…practical jokes that weren’t so funny to some…eating junk food by the bucketfuls. Glad to pass on the tradition.

The kids were super excited tired and in pajamas, ready for bed by 6:30…amazing! Music by the fire, smores, smoke smell in the hair…what’s not to love? Well…there was this amazingly horrific thunderstorm of doom that ruined it at around 11:30 p.m…right when all the little ones had finally nodded off. Luc woke up in his bed the next morning crying because he wasn’t in the tent anymore. Lucky for mommy, they were all so tired from staying up so late that not a one of them woke up to the storm. Now Ivy…she’s a different story!

Blessing # 601 ~ The ability to allow your kids to stay up late and sleep in late in the middle of the week. School? What school? *Wink!* Just one more reason why we homeschool!   

Spontaneously Captured

My blessings this week dwell on the spontaneity of the moment.

There have been several random “hurry-and-grab-the-camera” moments that don’t really fit anywhere photo category-wise yet are precious enough to save! Blessings that one day I will look back upon and smile at a memory that could’ve easily slipped away!

Blessings # 591 ~ 600

Rainbow before a summer storm.

Sweet Mike stopping by to show us.

Little girl wanting picture taken.

Turkey family visiting our front lawn.

First banana finger foods.

Happy boy smiling.

Plethora of summer produce.

No room in the fridge…using school book baskets.

Little boy bug surprises.

Haircut-of-necessity from Little-Girl-Cuts-Alot

Fresh Perspectives

What do you do when your work never leaves you?

It is truly a blessing to be a stay-at-home mommy  yet sometimes the amount of work can start choking the life out of you. It is always there…always a constant. You do and do and do some more but there is always one more mess…one more thing that needs to be done.

I was feeling suffocated.

I needed out.

So I walked away.

And, as the Lord is EVER so good, He met me where I am and blessed with fresh perspective.

A evening stroll ~ blessings # 568 ~ 590

~ walking with the littles who are still so excited to be with mommy and daddy

~ allowing the older two to spread their wings a bit with the first tastes of freedom at home alone

~ a grouping of oak leaves striving for that summer green but remaining in a beautiful fall coat

~ milkweed on the side of the road

~ the anticipation of looking for monarch caterpillars on said milkweed come August

~ unexpected wildlife…

~ watching a meadowlark sing

~ seeing a woodpecker in his glorious black and white and red coat searching for evening insects

~ the deer peeking out from among the brush

~ the quench of thirst from a pit stop for soda

~ searching for tadpoles

~ seeing how a yarrow flower is both one beautiful big flower head made up of hundreds of tiny, perfectly detailed flower heads

~ a meadow in our own back yard

~ picking flowers for mommy

~ finding a mommy and daddy goose with their gosling

~ watching the chase

~ seeing the prize

~ finding a prairie coneflower amongst the weeds

~ the gift of picking wildflowers

~ the walk back home

~ legs tired from muscles working the hills

~ the land spread out in front of me

~ a glorious sunset

Psalm 148

Praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above.

Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts.

Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars.

Praise him, you hightest heavens and you waters above the skies.

Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.

He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away.

Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,

ligtning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,

you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,

wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds,

kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth,

young men and maidens, old men and children.

Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted;

his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.

Garage Sale Blessings

I have continually found that when you pray before embarking on a shopping trip of any nature, the Lord will tend to bless you in ways you couldn’t have imagined before starting. As weekly blessings tend to go, this past week was a biggie! With the garage sale behind me I am finding places for our new things and realizing how amazingly God provides in one day.

Birthday Money = $125 – $11.00 kids allowance = $114

135 Blessings 

Blessings #422 ~ 557

Most Lucrative Find ~

  • 8 brand new Chinese prefolds for a quarter each!!!!!
  • 2 brand new Lands End dresses, one for Ivy and one for Delilah (these are our favorite dresses for the girls…high quality soft cotton that have endured all kinds of stains, washings, and being passed down through 3 girls)

Baby Gear ~

  • 1 Bouncer for baby
  • 2 extra teethers for a baby who bites more than all our other children combined!

~ Clothes ~

 

For Baby Eli ~

  • 2 summer onesies
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 3 pair of winter pants
  • 4 winter pajama sleepers
  • 1 long sleeve onesie (yes, it does say “I’m woolly cute”!)
  • 1 pair beginning walking shoes
  • 1 medium cloth diaper cover

For Ivy ~

  • 2 pair of super cute polka dot shorts
  • 5 pair soft cotton summer shorts (great for potty training or pajamas)
  • 1 cotton nightgown
  • 1 winter hoodie sweater
  • 2 overnight training pants

 

For Delilah ~

  • 1 soft cotton summer shorts
  • 1 pair mary jane shoes for next winter
  • 1 pair summer sandals for next summer

For Luc ~

  • 3 soft cotton summer shorts (for day or night wear)

For Lily ~

  • 1 winter pajama pants
  • 6 soft cotton summer shorts (for day or night wear)
  • 1 winter sweater

For Gabe ~

  • 1 athletic sport pants
  • 2 soft cotton summer shorts (for day or night wear)
  • 3 T-shirts
  • 1 short-sleeve church shirt

For Mom ~

  • 2 summer T-shirts
  • 6 new cardio-strength training DVD’s (one with the promise of defying gravity of which my now-over-35-metobolic body is defying!)
  • 1 new diaper bag/purse

And the surprise we found in that new bag ~

To which Lily confiscated the Hello Kitty Lipgloss, Vanilla perfume, and notepad and Lilah took the mittens and necklace.

In the Home ~

  • A single shabby chic frame
  • 1 Full size flannel florel bed set for the girls bed this winter (we only had boy colors last year from switching around beds)
  • 1 4-set napkins (eventually I’d like enough to replace paper towels)

In the Kitchen ~

  • 12 glass ramekins of which we will use for child-size soup, fruit, or ice cream servings and which fit perfectly on our child-size plates.
  • 1 bread guide w/electronic slicer (The slicer is a bonus. I already have a great bread knife but have had my eye out for a guide for over a year to make our homemade bread more kid-friendly.)
  • 2 Easter cookie cutters, 2 Christmas cookie cutters
  • 1 Bacon Press (I’ve always wanted one of these! They are very farm-girlish…now I just need that side of pork!)
  • 1 bread pan (because I do my bread in 2 week batches)
  • 2 cookbooks with recipes for scratch cooking and using seasonal veggies:

 

~ The Home Book of French Cookery

 ~ The Farmers’ Almanac Cook Book

 


Indulgences ~

  • 1 My Little Pony House with ponies and accessories (Ours broke this past winter and is now discontinued. Our girls play with these ponies daily!)
  • 1 Wooden Tool Set (for Luc who has been asking for one since his birthday in January)
  • 1 fairy ballet costume (because you can never have enough!)
  • Zoe Girl CD for my Lily-bear who loves to dance
  • Veggie Tales: The Wonderful Wizard of Ha’s DVD

~ Homeschool ~

 ~ $5 Bookshelf ~

Manipulatives ~

  • 1 Gear Puzzle
  • 1 Counting Puzzle (with 3 possible ways to solve the puzzle!)

Phonics & Writing ~

  • A set of Phonics Readers (will go great with our Bob books)
  • 2 Dry Erase Tracing Alphabet Pads (one for Luc and Lilah)
  • A Dry Erase Animal/Alphabet Tracing book

History ~

Geography ~

 

Social Studies ~

Nature Study ~

  • A flower press (of which I will be replacing the homemade one that I made for myself in high school…finally one with clamps and a guidebook for the kids!)
  • 1 extra clipboard (we use these for sketching outside)

Science ~

The Classics ~

The Bible ~

Crafts ~

  • 1 huge bundle of craft paper (construction and cardstock) for $1
  • Shapes To Cut Out, Color and Make (Reproducible shape templates great for a rainy day or a geometry math lesson!)

 

For Fun Books ~

  • Roald Dahl’s Even More Revolting Recipes (fun kid-friendly recipes from all his books…Gabe checked this one out at the library before and loved it.)
  • My Little Pony book with audio CD
  • Dora and Blues Clues, a few board books, and a new (not-tattered) Goodnight Moon (Ivy is in heaven!)
  • The Biggest Book of Knock Knock Jokes Ever (in hopes that my 3 and 5 year old start telling jokes that make sense!)
Pretty good haul, don’tcha think?
Joining Multitude Mondays at A Holy Experience

Things Unseen…

Note ~ I wrote this post back in August of 2010. I think I meant to publish it or add a photo first before publishing. I’m not sure. But somehow it escaped posting and ended up sitting in my dashboard. While cleaning up I found it, reread and thought this is still just as important to me this day! Enjoy!

BLESSING # 421 ~ That He sees and that is enough

Wow…I am speechless as I read Ann’s lovely words, words that soothed my soul today. Our day was full and there is still more to do. I think about this blog often and have words in my head, sometimes even pictures on my camera. But time slips as my family priority intrudes and takes over. So, for now, I will give a glimpse of Ann’s insightfulness (PLEASE visit her site and read the rest…a balm for your day!) as I ponder my own priorities and the dark recesses of my heart.

Ann’s wise words:

Who can see the spelling lessons? The breakfast made this morning? The next chapter of The Yearling read, the last child rocked early in the morning, the prayers whispered in the middle of the morning? I try in a week and a lot may get done, but the right things?

I think how I want a crumbless, smudgeless, spotless house, a house with empty laundry baskets, empty sinks, empty garbage cans, with floors like mirrors and mirrors like water, and a pantry lined neat like books in the study and pies lining the counter like sweet children all in a row…

I want things seen.

The seen things can be idols…

Too often, sadly, I want product, others to see product, so they can see: I have worth. Stinking idols…

Again, today, I must: Slay the idol of the seen…

I’ll whisper the mantra that orders all priorities:

Unseen. Things Unseen. Invest in Things Unseen.”

~ 2 Cor. 4:18

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

READ THE WHOLE THING HERE ~Thank you, Ann!